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Pocketball Team Histories w/ Logos


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Pocketball team histories with logos.

The sports beginnings.

Pocketball began in 1889 when the showman PT Barnum created the game as another of his attractions. He arranged for a game to be played at Faneuil Hall in Boston, Massachusetts. He organized two teams to compete in the game. He called them Team Black and Team White.


Team Black


Team White

The game proved popular and PT Barnum made it an annual tradition for the next two years. On April 7, 1891 Barnum passed away. Without his leadership it seemed the game was doomed but then in stepped Barnum’s business partner and friend William Cameron Coup. He decided he would take control of organizing the annual game between Team Black and Team White.

The 1892 game would forever change the course of the sport. In attendance for that year’s game was one of the world’s wealthiest and most influential men, Andrew Carnegie. Carnegie instantly became a fan of the game. He went back to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and organized a team of his own. Once this had been done he approached Coup and issued a challenge that he send a team to Pittsburgh to play his. Coup liked the idea and decided he would merge Team Black and Team White into one team that he would call the Boston Checkers. Then it was decided rather than holding the annual Team Black versus Team White game, Coups Boston team and Carnegie’s Pittsburgh team would play each other in two games, one in each city, for the 1893 season.

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Boston Checkers

So in 1893 the Checkers were formed by the merging of Team Black and Team White. William Cameron Coup was the franchises original owner and the team played in Faneuil Hall in Boston, Massachusetts.


Boston Checkers (1893-1914)

Following the 1893 season Coup and the owner of the Pittsburgh team felt that the game was by now so popular that they should form a league of four teams. Coup decided he preferred to own a franchise in his home state of Wisconsin so he sold the Checkers to Moses Kimball, a show promoter from Boston.

Kimball’s tenure as owner was short lived, he would die after just two seasons as owner. Without an owner the team was under the control of the league for the 1896 season. Before the 1897 season Henry Killilea purchased the club. Killilea would hold onto the team through the 1903 season but then he would sale the Checkers as well as the Boston Red Sox to John I. Taylor. This ownership would stand until 1909 when a rising Boston politician named James Michael Curley purchased the team from Taylor.

Before the 1915 season Curley would create a new iamage for his team; one that would appeal to Boston’s Irish populos. He changed the team colors from Black and White to Green and White and created a new logo, based upon the old one but that added clovers.

In 1935 a second franchise came to Boston and the teams shared the same building. Curley was opposed this arrangement but league officials told him the only way it would change is if he found his team their own new home. By the 1937 season Curly had made such arrangements; the team moved into the Boston Garden.


Boston Checkers (1915-1946)

By the 1940 season the other Boston franchise would again become a nuisance to Curley. The other team had been purchased by the managers of the Boston Garden and they moved that team in to once again share a home with the Checkers. Curley began to work on finding another home for his club and by the 1943 season he had a new home for his club. The Checkers moved into Boston Arena.

In the late 1940’s Curley was facing allegations of mail fraud and bribery. The league stepped in and urged Curley to sale the franchise. Before the 1947 season Tom Yawkey who also owned the Boston Red Sox, purchased the team. Right away he would set the colors back to the orginal ones and create a new logo that took the original logo and added a border around it.


Boston Checkers (1947-1988)

Boston would witness big changes in the sport for the 1959 season. That year the the cities other franchise moved to Connecticut and so the Checkers moved back into the larger Boston Garden.

On July 9, 1976 Yawkey would pass away and leave both the Checkers and the Red Sox to his wife Jean R. Yawkey. Jean Yawkey rarly took an interest in the team so when she was approached before the 1985 season by Harry M. Rubin and Jim Koch she decided to sale the team to them. Rubin and Koch were at the time building a brewery. Rubin would be the majority and controlling partner with 51% ownership stake.

In 1989 Rubin decided that the team needed an updated look. The teams new image was built upon a new logo. That new logo departed from the traditional square shapped logo the team had featured from it founding. Instead it went with a shield type logo.


Boston Checkers (1989-Present)

In 1995 the Checkers agreed to move into the cities new arena, currently then under construction. Temporarily for one year the team would move back to the old Boston Arena, by now known as Matthews Arena. The new arena, the Fleet Center, was ready for the team to move in by the 1996 season.

In 2005 the team would once again move; this time to the newly built Boston Convention and Exposition Center.

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Pittsburgh Challengers

The team was formed after Andrew Carnegie watched a game between Team Black and Team White. He went back to Pittsburgh and put his own team together and then issued a challenge to William Cameron Coup. His team, the Challengers, wanted to play the best players from Team Black and Team White. A couple games were organized for 1893. The game in Pittsburgh would be played at Exposition Park.


Pittsburgh Challengers (1893-1917)

The games were such a success that the next year a league of four teams was organized.

In 1986 the Challengers moved indoors to Duquesne Gardens.

In 1918 Carnegie would release the first of three logo alterations that would be made over the next 11 years. The others came in 1924 and 1929. Andrew Carnegie would only be involved in one of these logo changes however since he died on August 11, 1919. Following his death his wife Louise Whitfield Carnegie would take control of the team. She would prove to be a very effective and authoritative owner.


Pittsburgh Challengers (1918-1923)


Pittsburgh Challengers (1924-1928)


Pittsburgh Challengers (1929-1943)

In 1944 she would once again change the teams logo; this time drastically altering it to reflect the city shield. Only a couple years later on June 24, 1946 Louise Whitfield Carnegie would also die. She would keep the team in her family by passing it onto her daughter Margaret Carnegie Miller. Miller, unlike her mother, however had little interest in owning and operating a pocketball team. Before the 1948 season she would sale the team to Pittsburgh business man H.J. Heinz II.


Pittsburgh Challengers (1944-1996)

In 1956 the team would move to the Fitzgerald Fieldhouse on the campus of Pittsburgh University. In 1962 the team would move into Civic Arena.

It would be more than 20 years before major change would come to the team again. In 1983 Edward J. DeBartolo, Sr., who was in the process of putting a USFL team together in Pittsburgh, had a vision of building a sports empire in Pittsburgh so he purchased the Challengers. His dream however was crushed by 1985 as the USFL was crumbling, so he sold the team to Dan Rooney, the Pittsburgh Association, and Denise DeBartolo York. Rooney was the majority and controlling partner in the deal with 40% interest while the remaining 60% was split evenly between the other two owners.

Before the 1994 season the Pittsburgh Association would sale off their ownership of the team; two thirds of their shares were sold to Rooney while York picked up their remaining third.

In 1997 after 53 years of the same logo the team once again adopted a new one.


Pittsburgh Challengers (1997-Present)

Both owners of the team were losing interest by the end of the millennium, so in 2000 they sold the team to local sports hero Mario Lemieux. That year their home arena would receive a new name; Mellon Arena. They would stay in that arena until 2010. For the 2011 season they would move into the newly constructed Consel Energy Center.

The most recent change for the team came just this year when Mark Cuben, who is from Pittsburgh originally, sold another pocketball team that he owned (Texas Bones) so that he could purchase the Challengers.

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Thanks for the positive feedback. All will be explained in time. Pocketball is my own made up sport that serves for this mock league. Eventually I will get to uniforms and stuff like that but for now I want to get out all the histories with the logos. Some of you may remember these histories, I posted them before but did not have the logos. Now I have the logos completed and am presenting those.

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Milwaukee Monsters/Milwaukee Blue Ribbons/Milwaukee Hoggs

In 1894 when William Cameron Coup and Andrew Carnegie decide to form a four team league one of the new franchises was awarded to Milwaukee. Coup, who was the owner of the Boston Checkers, decided to sale that team and become the owner of the Milwaukee franchise instead. The team which he named the Milwaukee Monsters, in honor of his New United Monster Show, made their home at Borchert Field.


Milwaukee Monsters (1894-1895)

On March 4, 1895 after only two seasons Coup died. Before the 1896 season the league would sale the franchise to Frederick Pabst, one of Milwaukee’s many brewers. Pabst would bring about big changes to the team. He would rename the team the Milwaukee Blue Ribbons, as a promotion of one of his beer labels, Pabst Blue Ribbon. He would also give the team a new logo and new home. Pabste had built a theatre in Milwaukee and inorder to asure the venues success he moved the team into this unconventional sports venue.


Milwaukee Blue Ribbons (1896-1916)

On January 1, 1904 Frederick Pabst died and the team was opperated for that season by the league. Following the season however they would sale the team to another Milwaukee businessman named William S. Harley, one of the founders of Harley-Davidson Motorcycles. By 1917 his motorcyles are becoming popular and Harley decides to rebrand the team to reflect his own business. He renames the team the Milwaukee Hoggs and gives them new colors and a new logo.


Milwaukee Hoggs (1917-1930)

For the 1923 season Harley finally gets the team a new, more ideal, home venue. The team moves into Marquette Gymnasium.

When the stock market crashed in 1929 and the great depression set in, it had a big impact on the pocketball league. In 1931 the Milwaukee Hoggs would be one of the many teams that would cease opporations.

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Cleveland Standards

The other new franchise formed with the creation of the league, belonged to John D. Rockefeller. He located his team at League Park in Cleveland, Ohio. He names the team the Cleveland Standards in honor of his Standard Oil Company.


Cleveland Standards (1894-1931)

In 1908 the team moves indoors into Elysium Arena.

When the stock market crashes the Standards survive the first wave of disbandment but then before the 1932 season the Standards are also folded.

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These are great but when are you going to post newer teams? Or do you have newer teams? Is everything based in the late 1800s and early 1900s? How many teams are even in your leagu? So many questions...

Going in order by date the team was founded.

2014 has 32 teams.

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St. Louis Steamers

In 1895 Henry Huttleston Rogers and Mark Twain are granted the first real expansion franchise. Mark Twain is the one who want to own a team but his finances are not in a way that he could. In fact late in his life Twain finances are poor but thanks to his wealthy friend Henry Huttleston Rogers he is able to purchase an expansion franchise and fix his finances. Rogers is actually the majority owner with 70% ownership stake, but he allows Twain to be the managing partner. Rogers however maintains oversight. The team is name the St. Louis Steamers for the steam ships that travel up and down the Mississippi River. The team makes their home at the St. Louis Exposition and Music Hall.


St. Louis Steamers (1895-1900)

In 1901 the team goes with a more simplified logo.


St. Louis Steamers (1901-1913)

In 1907 while a new arena is under construction the team temporarily moves into Sportsmans Park. By the 1909 season the new venue is ready and the team begins making St. Louis Coliseum their home. Later that year Henry Huttleston Rogers dies. Mark Twain would inherit sole ownership of the team, however he would only exist as such for one season; he died on April 21, 1910.

Before the 1911 season the team was sold to architect George Kessler. Kessler did not have the monetary resources that some of his competitors (Andrew Carnegie, John D. Rockefeller) had so he began looking for a partner that he could sale some of the team to. In 1913 he found that partner in one of his associates named Robert A. Long. Long purchased 20% of the team, Kessler remained the majority and controlling partner.

In 1914 the team adopted a new logo. This logo would stand until 1925 when once again the team went with another new logo.


St. Louis Steamers (1914-1924)


St. Louis Steamers (1925-1930)

Following the stock market crash of 1929 the St. Louis Steamers would be one of the teams to fold following in the first wave.

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Club Cincinnati Ohio / Cincinnati Indians

John T. Brush is awarded an expansion team. He places the team at League Park in Cincinnati, Ohio and simply names the team Club Cincinnati Ohio. In 1902 the team would move to the opulent Palace of the Fans. The stadium was a baseball venue and home of the Cincinnati Reds. The Reds were owned by Brush as well but by 1903 he had sold both Cincinnati teams. He was moving to New York City. Club Cincinnati Ohio was sold to August Herrmann.


Club Cincinnati Ohio (1897-1909)

Herrmann would hold onto the team until 1910 when he would sale the club to local grocer Bernard Kroger. This new ownership would bring about a new image for the team. First the team was renamed the Cincinnati Indians and given a new logo. Then they also moved in doors for the first time in their history. Their new home was the Ohio National Guard Armory.


Cincinnati Indians (1910-1911)

Just two years later in 1912 they would again get an updated logo.


Cincinnati Indians (1912-1931)

The Indians were not among the first wave of teams to fold following the onset of the Great Depression but they were however among the second wave. The team folded in 1932.

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New York Tigers / Rochester Tigers

For the 1900 season George Eastman, founder of Kodak film company, was awarded an expansion franchise. Eastman was from Rochester, New York and that was his location of choice for his team but he could find no suitable venue so he instead located his team at Washington Avenue Armory in Albany, New York. He named his team the New York Tigers.


New York Tigers (1900-1905)

By 1906 Eastman finally was able to find a venue in Rochester for his team. An armory had been built the year before in Rochester. It was named Main Street Armory and the Tigers made arrangements for it to serve as their home. When the team moved in the name was changed to Rochester Tigers.


Rochester Tigers (1906-1930)

In 1931 the Tigers were one of the teams to fold in the first wave of teams.

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Love that last Cincinnati logo! But why does every team fold?

And every owner dies right after purchasing the team!

Not every team will fold. I am just in the early era of the league right now.

The owners are real people so I am going by their real life date of death.

Thanks for the comments.

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